Invisible, Distinguished… Camouflage

By Corry Snyders and Eda Kirim

It is globally renowned that both Paris and London are the best two cities out of three of Europe’s Fashion capitals, the third being Milan.

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London, Oxford Circus, shopping district.

There is a consistency in the occurrence of ‘Camouflage’ pattern and print on fashion apparel appearing in the streets of Paris and London.  The term camouflage has been introduced by the French and described as ‘camoufler’ defined as ‘to disguise’ as this print was started at the beginning of World War one.

Camouflage is a metaphor for each individual person who has their own stylistic approach as to how this trend is portrayed. The camouflage print used in fashion today a is heavily influenced by military presence in Europe, due to social and political issues of the ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Syria‘ conflicts 2015, especially in Paris, Belgium and London.

According to Adam Tschorn, over the years the military have been protecting methods of life, with supreme sacrifices for world peace and have helped shape national identities.  In contrast to this the camouflage print has built its way into wardrobes, deriving through a range of silhouettes taking high end designers to innovative new prints and designs. Military wear especially camouflage portrays significance to the wearer, it poses a form of ‘toughness’ and commands a powerful stance.

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There are many instances of the influence of military wear in fashion throughout history, even today they are so common that people do not ever realise anymore that the Trench Coat, Bomber Jacket and military style boots, are heavily influenced from military uniforms.

Camouflage, commonly known as the brown and green irregular blotches illustrates traditional military wear. However, the camouflage prints and colours used for fashion are not limited to those specific colours. For camouflage as a fashion print designers of all levels of the market are using the camouflage print with many different and innovative colours.

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In the global fashion world designers have emerged camouflage collections into distinctive styles collaborating the aesthetic with various approaches. Few of these names include, Maison Valentino Spring/Summer 2014, Christian Dior (John Galliano) Spring/Summer 2001 and Comme Des Garçons Spring Summer 1997.

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In 2014, Italian designer, Maison Valentino showcased his Spring/Summer camouflage collection. The collection ranged from modern accessories to apparel influenced by military wear, introducing the greens, highlighted with a combination of red, blue, yellow and pink. Valentino holding a major significance in the fashion world indeed poses an influential role to his clientele through his coherent collections.

The medium brands have taken influence through ‘camouflage’ aesthetics from high end fashion labels having collaborated this trend into modern fashion society. There is a constant occurence within the medium market brands and boutiques across Paris and London that have collaborated the ‘camouflage’ effect into their current season collections. Adidas have merged into this particular trend by creating a camouflage backpack that’s hit the European streets with a stylistic on trend aesthetic. This indicates there is an emphasis created to this staple print as it has and will continue to evolve and exist in European fashion culture.

In further research, a boutique label in Paris named Passion Campagne stock a range of camouflage jackets with various colours and silhouettes offering to match their clientele for those of whom that love to make a fashionable statement. They are easily accessible online showcasing their variety of collection.

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On the other hand, other than Paris, London boutiques and designers incorporating the camouflage print into their designs can be as large as an overall wear down to a pocket square. In this case, Jane Carr, a British Fashion Designer specializes in creating luxury hand finished garments and accessories targeting both men and women. Jane Carr was established after appearing in London Fashion Week, bringing together an accessory collection displayed with camouflage printed accessories. The visual provided is a couple of the pocket squares from her recent collection presented in the most recent LFW (London Fashion Week, 2016) shopping boutique department. Carr says, “We love the contrast its pattern offers when paired with a retro pastel suit.” – Jane Carr.

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In addition to the London online boutique research, the couple photographed below, own and run a fashion label together called IIVII. They are a representation of contemporary trend innovators offering traditional vintage military wear into modern society. As seen through their aesthetics they pose head to toe stylistic camouflage wear. They intend on growing their business starting off as a boutique label, check out their Instagram page.

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Even todays celebrities are performing on stage and on television, influencing the “individuals” of society by their fashionable trends. Whether you’re browsing online looking into the current Bazaar magazine archives or flicking through one of Vogue’s most recent fashion blog’s, there seems to be outfits that consist of clothing articles with the camouflage print in on them, in this particular case we’re immediately drawn to and attracted by Kate Moss’s camouflage jumpsuit. Provided with a bold heading almost persuading the viewer to change their current wardrobe into what is supposedly the current style celebrities are blooming in.

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Kate Moss and the Camouflage jumpsuit, 2016.

Overall, camouflage has existed throughout military forces as there traditional uniform for years. There has been major advances in the technology of stealth/camouflage invisibilty. The first intended use of camouflage was to disguise and make soldiers invisible.  Now through huge advancements there are claims that there is a company that is creating “invisibility fabric/material”.   As stated by Damien Gayle, the head line below…

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This military advancement with invisibility fabric and materials, can easily be used in fashion in the future.  This trend, with the original style of camouflage that came into use in WW1, can reoccur with this new invisibility technology.  In terms of consumers needs and wants, this can be an innovative technology for designers to incorporate into their designs, allowing for panels, sections and certain areas of the body to be completely invisible, to accustom the wears needs.

Cited Photo’s (as appears in order):
en.wikipedia.org, (2009). Avenue des Champs Élyssées. [image] Available at: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6d/Avenue_des_Champs-%C3%89lys%C3%A9es_July_24,_2009_N1.jpg [Accessed 24 Feb. 2016].
irisfalkenberg.com, (2013). London Oxford Circus. [image] Available at: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiSvqOxwpHLAhUBLhQKHS20BaAQjBwIBA&url=http%3A%2F%2Firisfalkenberg.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F08%2Foxford-circus-shoppers-beat-crosstown-traffic-415×275.jpg&bvm=bv.115277099,d.d24&psig=AFQjCNHSh4m9HS7Hv-j-PDz0R1KmU3WDeA&ust=1456441687632046 [Accessed 24 Feb. 2016].
http://www.timesofisrael.com, (2015). French Military at Airports. [image] Available at: http://cdn.timesofisrael.com/uploads/2015/11/000_Par8333757-e1447955269871.jpg [Accessed 24 Feb. 2016].
http://www.foxnews.com, (2015). French Military 1. [image] Available at: http://a57.foxnews.com/global.fncstatic.com/static/managed/img/U.S./876/493/parisattackap.jpg?ve=1&tl=1 [Accessed 24 Feb. 2016].
Unknown, (2016). Kate Moss Is Reason Enough to Trade In Your Biker Jacket for a Satin Bomber. [image] Available at: http://www.vogue.com/13386686/kate-moss-satin-bomber-jacket-camouflage-jumpsuit-celebrity-street-style/ [Accessed 12 Jan. 2016].

 

 

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